A sentence I’ve uttered many a time since I started supporting Rovers. Yet for the first time I seriously ask myself this question as we face the very real possibility of dropping out of the Football League. What’s happening at Bristol Rovers?
Every season since we were relegated back into League 2 has started with not so quiet optimism and a bold prediction of a decent run this season.
Almost exclusively the players performances have not matched the lofty expectations of the fans, often leading to frustration at times. Whether this is the fault of the players not working hard enough or if this is simply the fans having far too high expectations is difficult to judge,yet something always appears slightly awry with Rovers since they’ve been in League 2.
One factor contributing to the current situation is surely the managerial merry-go round in the past few seasons, as we’ve hired and soon after jettisoned previous play off finalists in Paul Buckle, European and Scottish prem experience with Mark McGhee,old club favourite John Ward before the latest incumbent Darrell Clarke took the job a few weeks ago.
With all of these managers save from Buckle Rovers fans have seen renewed optimism as the new manager would come in and immediately there would be an upturn in fortunes, no doubt helping fuel the lofty expectations before every season.
Yet every new season see’s the same old Rovers as they struggle their way through the year until eventually the manager is sacked and someone else plugged in.
Another factor is the consistently small amount of money being set aside for transfers. Granted, Rovers are not struggling financially as our wage bill has always been near the top by League 2 standards. It does Appear frustrating for fans however as our only signings are loans and free agent players.
Whilst loan players are vital to a club like Rovers and can add depth to the squad it’s slightly frustrating personally to have one major signing in the past 2 seasons for an undisclosed fee.
The only major success for Rovers in the past few seasons has been our new UWE stadium being approved by the local council after a protracted battle with protestors. This is a major coup for the club as it will move it into the 21st century.
The stadium approval is not a complete bed of roses however as the protestors have forced a delay in the build which won’t start now until this summer.
Also if the unthinkable happens and Rovers are relegated to the Conference that will make it very hard to justify building a new 21,700 all seater stadium when attendances won’t get close to 7000 on average .
Whilst things may appear all doom and gloom at Rovers right now the team still has 4 games to save the season, plus our fate is still in our hands therefore it’s solely up to the team now. It’s in their hands, they just need to grasp it now.
For any further information on Bristol Rovers here’s a link to their website.